Search This Blog

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tis the Season to be Politically Correct

"We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force." - Ayn Rand

As Christmas approaches the reports of towns, large and small, will begin to fill the air waves with stories of political correctness across the land.

Christmas trees will be called “Holiday Trees”, what were once Christmas pageants will now be called “Winter Celebrations”, people will wish each other “Happy Holidays”, and a minority of people will claim to be offended at Christian displays of the birth of Christ.

CBS News in Philadelphia reports that the sign that hangs above the 80 wooden booths that make up the traditional European Christmas Village on the west side of City Hall used to say “Christmas Village,” but on Tuesday morning, it was missing a word. The sign, strung up in lights, says just “Village.”

City Managing Director Richard Negrin says workers took the word Christmas down because of complaints. “I’ve received a number of complaints throughout the past few months and apparently over the past several years about the fact that village wasn’t more inclusive,” Negrin said. “It really is not just a Christian village; it’s more of a holiday Village.”

“I remember hearing one story in which a small Jewish child walked past the village and saw Christmas and asked his dad how come we don’t get a village?” said Negrin, who said the move to remove Christmas is about being inclusive.

“Passers-by are not so sure. Daryl says he appreciates that people practice different religions, but he questions the removal of the word Christmas.”

“It’s a Christmas Village. It just happens to be here at City Hall. Everything looks so nice, and now, all of the sudden we just have Village up there,” he says.”

“I know there are different religions, as far as Jewish religions that believe in Hanukah and African Americans that believe in Kwanza, but they should just keep it Christmas, I mean that’s what it is,” added Les Milling.

Negrin disagrees. “I think for every person you find who is offended, you’re going to have scores of people who feel like they’re included in the village now as opposed to before.”

The story of the young Jewish boy and several others is why German American Marketing Inc. and the city has decided it would be best to design a fixture that reads “Holiday” instead of “Christmas.” Click here for the full report and the video from CBS News.

Pennsylvania has a large German-American population dating back to 1683 when Francis Daniel Pastorius founded a German settlement in Germantown, Pennsylvania. His home is now a historical place and almost every student of German learns about Pastorius and the society named after him.

Anyone who has traveled to Germany, Austria or Switzerland during the Christmas season is well aware of the traditional Wheinachtsmarkts (Christmas Markets) that are scatted throughout large and small towns. These markets are opened from November 16 to just a few days before Christmas. The markets are filled with the sights and sounds of Christmas. There are vendor stalls where you can buy Christmas ornaments and other things ranging from handmade trinkets to ceramic figurines. There are stalls serving bratwurst, gluhwine and lebkuchen In the evenings there are local choirs performing traditional Christmas carols and songs.

I have had the opportunity to visit these markets in Munich, Nuremberg, Salzburg, Zurich, Heidelberg and other cities throughout Germany. The Germans make no bones about these markets; they are dedicated to the celebration of Christmas. I have never heard anyone complain that they are not inclusive, they are a Germanic tradition.

The Philadelphia Christmas Village is just another of hundreds of examples of how we are abandoning our history, traditions and culture to some misguided sense of political correctness. It was the German composer, Carl Orff, who said “Tradition was the glue that held a society together.” As we surrender our long held traditions to a liberal social progressive agenda we a slowly tearing our society apart and paying homage to the god of multiculturalism.

This Controversy and criticism continues in the present-day, where some Christian and non-Christians have claimed that an affront to Christmas (dubbed a "war on Christmas" by some) is ongoing. In the United States there has been a tendency to replace the greeting Merry Christmas with Happy Holidays. Groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union have initiated court cases to bar the display of images and other material referring to Christmas from public property, including schools. Such groups argue that government-funded displays of Christmas imagery and traditions violate the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which prohibits the establishment by Congress of a national religion. In 1984, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Lynch vs. Donnelly that a Christmas display (which included a Nativity scene) owned and displayed by the city of Pawtucket, Rhode Island did not violate the First Amendment. In November 2009, the Federal appeals court in Philadelphia endorsed a school district's ban on the singing of Christmas carols.

As long as we have organizations like the ACLU and Citizens United this war on Christmas will continue. What many people neglect to mention when they cite the provision of the First Amendment to make their case against Christmas displays is the second part of the clause; “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”. They adhere to the first part, but seem to ignore the second.

As for my part I will never say happy holidays in lieu of wishing someone a Merry Christmas. I would suspect that someday our calendars will show December 25th as “Winter Holiday” and Congress will have to rescind its 1870 law making Christmas a formal federal holiday across the United States and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant.

Merry Christmas, Fröhliche Weihnacten, Joyeux Noel and Mele Kalikimaka.

No comments:

Post a Comment